We experienced some of the finest fishing of the year last month as water temps remained well above average and the weather was exceptional for the most part. Redfish have really begun to settle into their Winter patters and large schools of happy fish began congregating in shallow water. With the warm temperatures, most of the schools of redfish have been very responsive to soft plastic lures as well as fly fishing using mullet pattern flies and shrimp patterns. Water clarity continues to be somewhat of an issue due to the large amount of rain we experienced back in October, however I think the stained water has been working in our favor as redfish arnt as timid in slightly tinted water.

The speckled trout fishing has been exceptional as well, however the large amount of freshwater that has inundated much of Winyah Bay has forced us to target them in other areas. Cape Romain has been on fire with the Speckled trout and we had many 50+ fish days. Most of the trout we are catching are in the 13-17in range but a few have pushed the 20in mark. Vudu shrimp under a popping cork has been a favorite of mine recently, as well as saltwater assassin grubs and Zman’s Trout Trick fished with a 1/4 jig head.

As we move further into January and February, look for these large schools or redfish to remain in the creeks and the strong speckled trout bite to continue well into the Spring. As water temperatures fall into the low 50’s these fish will become somewhat lethargic so the key to enticing a strike is to work your baits slowly along the bottom. Cut bait like mullet, shrimp, or fresh blue crab are always good backup options in cold weather conditions.

I am beginning to book up for the Spring and Summer so please contact me if you have any interest in fishing this year to make sure you are on the water for the best tides.

Capt. Jordan Pate

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